Friday, November 3, 2017

September/October Book Review

I had good intentions...really I did. I kept telling myself to put down the TV remote (my fall shows are back) and pick up my book instead, but I didn't. 

In the last 2 months I have only read one book...well 2 if you count the book I read aloud to my students...and for the sake of this "goal" I am going to count it. A book is a book, right?

My goal for this year was 24 books in 2017...and I am currently at 21 books, so I can still meet this goal...I just have to start reading again! The weather is getting colder so I imagine I will be finding myself on the treadmill a little more frequently so that should help! 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28187230-the-woman-in-cabin-10

This book had been suggested to me by several people and I have had it on hold at the library for months now. Considering I was in the thick of things with back to school madness and learning how to juggle being a new mom and working again after a 4 month break, I would say this book did a pretty good job of holding my interest. It took me a little longer to read than a suspense/thriller usually would...especially one that kept me guessing like this one did. The book takes place on a luxury cruise ship with only a few cabins. The main character Lo is a writer who is on the ship so she can write a review. She is quickly distracted by what she believes was a body thrown overboard. The more Lo tries to find out what happened the scarier things get for her. I was on the edge of my seat nearly the entire book and felt like it wrapped up pretty well. There was a bit of a twist (which I always love) and it made sense the way it ended. This is definitely a book I would recommend. I do wish I would have read it at a less crazy time though, I think I would have enjoyed it that much more. 


There are a few books I read to my students every year...and this is one I will definitely add to my list. Auggie Pullman is a 5th grader, and he is no ordinary 5th grader. He was born with a severe facial deformity. He was home-schooled in the past due to this, but now as a 5th grader he will be attending the local school. Auggie struggles to fit in as you might imagine, but what I love about this book is how the author explores others reactions to him. It opened the door for a lot of conversations in my class about how we might feel if we were Auggie...how we might feel if we were one of Auggie's classmates...how we felt about the way different characters treated him. This is a beautifully written book that is a MUST read for all kids. It not only teaches kindness, compassion, and empathy...but it reinforces the idea of never giving up and doing your best. I cried a few tears here and there in the story and my kids cheered as we reached the last page. I urge you to read this book...with your students, with your children, or even by yourself!

I have been a total slacker in the book department these last 2 months, and I am hoping I can get back into the groove, because I have lots of books on the wait list at the library that have recently come available and I have been waiting months for them...I need to get on it and start reading so I don't end up having to put them on hold again!
Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Marathon Update

I have put off writing this post for the last week, because I am VERY superstitious and I didn't want to jinx myself. 

If you follow me on Instagram you know that I have been fighting a hip/glute/back injury for the last month. I dealt with a similar injury a few years back while training for the KC Marathon, so I immediately called my chiropractor hoping he could fix me yet again :) 

I was worried that with only 7 weeks till the marathon that there wouldn't be time to completely rehab my injury and that I wouldn't be able to run the marathon...and to be honest with you, there were a few times that I questioned whether or not I would even be able to run the 5k. 

After lots of ups and downs, several appointments with Dr. Sindorf...I can confidently say I will be running the Gobbler Grind Marathon in 2 1/2 weeks. The weekend before last I ran my longest run since having Bennett...and while it isn't my normal "peak week" 20 miler, I was able to run 18 miles completely pain free.


This training cycle has been far from perfect. There have been more skipped runs than I can count. Several shortened runs due to a baby waking up earlier than planned (it's like they know, lol!) and absolutely zero speed-work. I definitely won't be walking away from this race with a shiny new PR...but I will be walking away from it with my head held high. Getting back into running after having a baby hasn't been easy. I have run through lack of sleep, going back to work full time, and an injury, and yet I haven't given up. I may not run my fastest marathon, but it will definitely be an accomplishment I can be proud of.




Monday, October 30, 2017

Life With Benny: 7 Months


Every month I swear is my favorite and that it can't possibly get any better...and then it does <3


Diapers

He is comfortably wearing size 3s and we have officially gone through all of the diapers that were gifted to us. We have only purchased a few boxes these last 6 months and it has been really nice. Diapers are ALWAYS a good shower gift ;)

Clothes

He is wearing 6-9mos in all his clothes, and sleepers. He still naps in his "monkey suit", which is just a fleece sleep sack, but it's getting a little bit small so we are going to have to get a new one here pretty soon. We also bought him a Halo sleep sack to wear over his jammies for bedtime because it's getting a little colder. We bought him socks last month and he can't keep them out of his mouth so they end up all slobbery and wet...not sure how we are going to keep his feet warm in the upcoming months!

Food

Lots of new foods for the little guy this month...including peanut butter! At our 6 month doctor's appointment we got the go ahead from the doctor to introduce any and all foods (except honey and whole milk) and lil' man has been loving it!

We have slowly introduced fruits thinking that once he got a taste of the sweeter foods he wouldn't want his veggies, but so far he doesn't seem to be the biggest fan of pears or peaches. He loves bananas, but mostly he loves his veggies. Squash, zucchini, sweet potatoes, and carrots top his list of favorites.

Sleep

We had a rough start in the sleep department, but I have zero complaints these days. He is still going to bed around 8 each night and sleeping till about 6:30 when we wake him up to get ready for daycare.

At daycare he takes a short nap in the morning and a longer nap in the afternoon, but he hasn't been the most consistent. At home he is a nap champion. He will nap 2-3 hours in the morning and then anywhere from 45 mins to an hour and a half in the afternoons/evenings.


Milestones

-He finally rolled from back to front! He has spent the last 2 months ALMOST rolling to his tummy. He would get almost all the way over and then it's like he realized his mistake and he would roll right back onto his back. He never loved tummy time so we weren't sure he would ever roll over. He rolled from back to front once at the beginning of the month and then it was almost a full 3 weeks before he did it again...and now watch out! He is a rolling machine rolling back to front then front to back over and over again. 

-He officially has a tooth! About 2 weeks ago I noticed he was extra drooly and a little unsettled while in his car seat so I felt around to see if his gums were swollen and I found a tooth, it had already broken through the gums...I couldn't believe it! It's looking like another one is about to break through as well. Minus being a little fussier while in his car seat he has been a total teething champ.

-He is getting more intentional and coordinated with his grabbing. He can pick up smaller objects and take them directly to his mouth.

-He spent his first night away from mommy...and I think it was harder on me than it was him. It was just one night, but boy was I glad to get back home to him! 

-He started sitting in a high chair at restaurants and seriously, he was beside himself with excitement. He loves looking around and people watching so this was a huge upgrade in his opinion.

-We've started giving him Mum Mums, which are little teething crackers and he is obsessed. I took one away from him the other day and he yelled at me...lol! He is pretty messy with them still, but Gracie makes sure to clean up his mess :)

-We also started giving him water. It took him a few weeks, but he can now get water out of the sippy cup. He hasn't quite figured out that he needs to tip it up to get the water out...so we are stuck holding it for him for now ;)

Likes

-He loves being startled, and every time daddy "scares" him he giggles. It's pretty much everyone's favorite game. 

-Gracie...oh my word, if she is nearby his eyes are locked on her. He would really like to get ahold of her, but she keeps her distance after a few hair pulls. 

-This kid loves music, and it doesn't matter if it's on tv, the radio, or mommy's tone deaf voice. He will tap his toes to the music and wave his arms around and dance. 

-He still loves the bath and we got him some bath toys so that has made it even more fun! 

-He has all of a sudden become really interested in books, and not just because he likes to chew on them (although he still does that) He has started looking at the pictures and even trying to turn the pages...it makes this teacher mama's heart VERY happy!


Dislikes

We have been so blessed with such a happy, easy-going baby that it's hard to really say what his dislikes are. He doesn't like having to wait to eat his food...but really, who does?

Highlights


Fall weather meant weekend mornings in the sunroom with Mommy and Gracie.


Our first trip to the pumpkin patch! He loved the people watching.


He had his 6 mo check up and shots...he was such a trooper, especially because we waited forever and he was extra tired.


This face <3


I seriously could just eat him up!


He still doesn't quite understand sippy cups ;)


He has been LOVING his books lately!


Gracie is his little side-kick...but she stays just out of reach for fear of the fur pulling!


We are lucky enough to live down the street from his big cousins, so park dates are a must! 


Bubble-tubbin'


I took him on a few more stroller runs this month, and he loves them...that is if he can stay awake :)


Gracie isn't going to be happy when he starts sitting in his chair regularly...she has claimed this thing as her own for the last few months.


He got to sit in the big boy seat in the cart at Target. He is still a little small for it, but mommy just made sure to drive slowly and not take the corners too fast!


Sunday mornings are my favorite...pjs all day!


Benny got to watch the Chiefs and Sporting game with his Uncle Brian.


SO.MUCH.DROOL #Teething


He loves his bath toys...Hattie is his favorite #YesTheyAllHaveNames


He teased us all month with rolling over once and then never again...FINALLY last week he decided he didn't hate being on his tummy.


Books, books, and more books! I could spend hours reading with him!


More Sunday morning snuggles...and who doesn't wear a hat with their jammies?


We spent an evening over at my cousin Sheila's house...and Mason and Madeline made sure he was entertained ;)


We bought him a swing to add to our play-set...and he seems to like it, although the swinging motion almost puts him to sleep!




We went to Gardner's Boo Bash with our besties, and while it was cold and windy we got a couple of really good pictures, so I suppose it was worth it :)


John and Kelly's pre-wedding brunch was a success!


 Benny made sure to call Uncle Brian ahead of time to make sure they could match :)

What a month it's been! I have said it before...and I will say it again...but we have been so blessed with this sweet boy! I can't wait to see what the next month brings :)
Sunday, October 1, 2017

Life with Benny: 6 Months




6 months, a half a year, 185 days...sweet boy how did we ever live without you and your infectious smile. You have changed our lives in the best way possible and you bring so much joy and laughter to our days. 

Weight: 16lbs 11oz (33%)
Height: 26.5" (38%)
Head Circumference:17.25" (60%)

Diapers

We finished up the size 2 diapers this month and changed our Amazon subscription to size 3's, although they are still a little big. He is still wearing (and most nights still needing) size 3 overnight diapers. He has only had one major blow-out, and thankfully it happened at daycare #SorryMissJudy
When I picked him up she told me his outfit was in a grocery sack, and that unless I was really attached to the outfit, it might be better to throw it away #ToTheTrash

Clothes

He is still wearing 3-6 month clothes, and I am still slowly putting away his 0-3 mo stuff...nothing like a snug onsie and a wedgie to remind you that your baby is getting too big too fast :(

Food

We introduced real food this month and it has been SO MUCH FUN! Seeing his reaction to new foods is hilarious!

We started with peas, which were definitely not his favorite! He gagged and shivered with every bite...it was hysterical! Next we tried carrots and he did so much better with those...no gagging ;) We then introduced sweet potatoes and oh boy, he LOVED those! Towards the end of the month we introduced pears thinking he would love them because they are sweeter...but he isn't too sure about those just yet.

Sleep

After last month I am terrified to say anything about sleep...especially because things are going so well #Superstitious

Right now he is consistently going to bed around 8:00PM and usually waking up between 6:30-7:00. During the week we wake him up at 6:45 to get ready for daycare and on the weekends if he wakes up on his own before 7, I feed him and put him back to bed and he will sleep till 8-8:30.

Naps are still really inconsistent. He takes a really short morning nap for Ms. Judy around 9AM and then a little longer nap in the early afternoon. He often falls asleep in the car on the way home and then takes another short cat-nap from about 5:30-6:15.

On the weekends his naps look quite a bit different. He will take a long morning nap (2-3 hours) and then a couple of 45 min- hour long naps throughout the day.

On the weekends if we are at home we have trouble keeping him awake for more than an hour and a half at a time, but at daycare or if we are out and about he can stay awake much longer. We don't worry too much about keeping him on a strict schedule because he doesn't get cranky or upset when he misses/changes a nap time.

Milestones

-He is sitting up for longer periods of time and playing with his toys. He eventually gets excited or reaching too far for something and falls over, but he is getting there. We also switched him to the other side of his baby bath...he is still a little unsturdy, but he is LOVING the big boy side of the tub :)

-We weaned him off of his reflux meds this month. It started accidentally at first, because we kept forgetting to give him his medicine in the morning before daycare and we noticed that he seemed to be doing okay. We then started to lower his nighttime dose over the course of week and then we completely stopped giving it to him and he has been doing just fine.

-He is almost rolling over back to front...he will turn his head and almost his entire body when he is looking for Gracie or trying to grab a toy, but then when he realizes he is about to roll over he panics and flings himself to his back. He is not a huge fan of being on his stomach, so rolling to his tummy is not a priority.

-He is laughing and giggling ALL.THE.TIME. He is seriously the happiest baby ever and we will do just about anything to see him laugh...we often look pretty silly ;)

-Lil' man was sick for the very first time this month...and let me tell you it was scary! It started out with a bad hacking cough and a trip to the doctor. He was diagnosed with group and given a steroid shot. 2 nights later he was up all night coughing and throwing up. I called the nurses line and they suggested we take him to the ER. After taking chest x-rays they decided to treat him for croup and bronchitis. Mommy and Benny had our first sick day together and snuggled all day long.

Likes

-He is obsessed with the tags on his toys and his tag blanket. I never understood the point of tag blankets until I watched Benny play with one for a half an hour! This kid is obsessed. 

-Music, music, and more music. He loves when we sing to him and help him dance. He can drop it like it's hot like a champ ;) 

-He loves to be startled or scared....this gets him laughing just about every time. 

-He is Gracie's #1 fan...he watches her like a hawk when she is nearby. He would love to get ahold of her fur...but Gracie learned quickly that he isn't very gentle. 

-Baths are still a favorite around here, and have only gotten more fun since we moved him to the sitting up side and added toys. He kicks, splashes, screams, and laughs through just about every bath. 
Dislikes

He is seriously the happiest little guy ever. It's very rare that he isn't in a good mood. The only time he tends to get a little fussy or unsettled is when he is hungry or tired. The first two months of his life he spent screaming and crying...but now, he rarely cries at all. He wakes up in the morning and from all of his naps with a big ol' grin on his face. He definitely has his dad's happy go lucky, easy going nature!

Highlights


Snuggles with his favorite cousins!


He still stares longingly at his "friends" whenever he is nearby. He loves that play-mat so darn much!


Sitting in the big boy side of the tub has been so much fun!




He got to experience a Smith tradition, and went to Old Settlers...he was too little for grange pups and walking tacos...but next year, watch out!


Seriously, always smiling...


This month he started to enjoy listening to me read books and flipping through the pages on his own. More often than not, the pages end up in his mouth though...


 We had to retire his gowns and switch to footie pj's...the off the shoulder look is so last year ;)


We fed him dinner downstairs one night, and Gracie stayed extra close...Benny was not all about sharing ;)


He was not a good luck charm for the Royals...things seem to be looking better for the Chiefs! 


You could hardly tell he was sick, minus the terrible cough. 

 and the extra snuggles! 


 While it wasn't fun to have a sick baby, I loved having a full day at home with him!


Daddy's little assistant.


 Trying new foods has been a fun experience for all parties involved...lots of gagging and shivering at first (thank you peas) but then once he got the hang of it, watch out! #FeedMe


Like I said...always smiling :)


He got really good at sitting up this month, and now it's basically all he wants to do! 


Game day snuggles <3


 We spent an afternoon with his big cousins...and it ended in a tutu dance party ;)


Sweet potatoes are easily this kids' favorite food...can't say I blame him! 


He still loves stroller runs with mommy! 


This tag blanket has become his new favorite toy...it kept him busy while mommy put away laundry.


We celebrated his half birthday with lunch and shopping with our besties...


He got to sit in the high chair...and he was in awe! He loved sitting up and seeing what was going on.


These two were absolutely perfect considering we drug them around all afternoon...they best shopping pals ever!


We didn't even get out of the parking lot and he fell right asleep, an afternoon of shopping is exhausting for everyone!


This sweet boy makes life more fun, and I can't wait to see what the next 6 months have in store!